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» One Touch Football - Archive » World » Anti-Imperialists Doing My Head in on Tibet (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Anti-Imperialists Doing My Head in on Tibet
Loose Cannon ?
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Overall the outside world image of Tibet is very positive (peace loving monks given to contemplation etc.) compared say with Chechnya - hardly surprising that there is such a strong reaction from liberals/ musos etc.

(imho - Chavez would say anything to piss the US off these days)

The White House has been pretty quiet - only Nancy Pelosi has created a ripple as far as I can see.

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Spearmint Rhino
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quote:
You're surely not one of those people who imagines that 'Communist' in Chinese Communist Party actually means anything these days?
No. Not for a long long time, in fact. I was thinking more in terms of the last remnants of Us v Them binary mentality from the Cold War, like the final scene in a horror movie when you think the hero has killed all the baddies but there's still one massive monster to be put to the sword.

Also, bearing in mind that American military objectives and American commercial objectives so often go hand-in hand, I wouldn't be surprised if the US liked the idea of precipitating the tumble of the present Chinese system with a view to moving in and exploiting its resources (material and human) and further opening up its market. Matter of fact, I'd be surprised if they didn't like that idea, regardless of the potential short/medium term chaos in the region.

Cuba writ large, if you like.

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Ginger Yellow
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Do you really think the Indian thing was primarily aimed at the Chinese? It seemed to me to be an ad hoc response to the complete collapse of non-proliferation, and an inevitable result of letting Pakistan off the hook over AQ Khan. I'm sure China played a role in the administration's thinking, but I really don't think there was a masterplan behind it.
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wingco
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Not a masterplan exactly, but done in such a way as to let the Chinese know they were still around and not about to go gently into this whole from-East-to-West thing. The Chinese were, duly, a little pissed off but didn't push the issue as there wasn't really much they could do about it.
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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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Don't let's derail the thread over this, but is "mediaevalist theocracy" meant as a tautology, or is there a specific reason why Lamist Tibet would be "mediaevalist"? It strikes me as a massive, well, whatever the geographical equivalent of an anachronism is.
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Mitch
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It's not really such an anachronism when you've got Bhutan just up the road.
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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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Bhutan, also subject to very little of the cultural influences of 800-1400 Europe...
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Antonio Gramsci
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OK, I think SR was using the term medievallist in the sense of "pre-modern and kinda feudal", rather than in the specific sense of 800-1400 Europe, or in the other possible specific sense of Dungeons and Dragons.

Although the "Dalai Lama" does kinds sound like someone who'd enter a dark cave in nothing but +2 chain mail, Broadsword of Vengeance awhirl and a Fire Spell on his lips...

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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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Yeah, that's why I asked whether it was just tautologous, or did it mean "pre-technological", or what...


It just seems, of all the criticisms you could level at a theocracy, an odd one to choose.

[ 25.03.2008, 12:07: Message edited by: The Batebe of Toro Foundation ]

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Antonio Gramsci
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Actually, the theocracy bit is giving the Tibet story some of its best angles.

As you all know, when the Dalai Lama dies, his spirit is reincarnated, invariably as another Tibetan. The monks then spend a few years on a search committee looking for the re-incarnated spirit. When they find him, he is anointed Lama and then has about a decade-long regency period where other monks rule on his behalf until he comes of age (there was a period where this led to a lot of Lamas ended up dying accidentally at 18 because of hte possibilities for graft and influence the regency provided). The same also goes for the no. 2 and 3 Lamas in the hierarchy - so when the Panchen Lama died about fifteen years ago back, Beijing made sure that the new Lama was acceptable to them.

So recently the DL, feeling a bit mortal and wary of what would happen to his reincarnated soul if it showed up back in China, made some remarks to the effect that his next incarnation might not be born in Tibet. Indeed, in a globalized society, he could be born pretty much anywhere.

Did this cause unrest among the faithful? Not as much as it did among the faithless. Beijing's response - yes, that Beijing, the militantly secular one - was to pass a law decreeing that the next Dalai Lama could only be born in Tibet.

The DL, straining at every theological boundary ever placed on him, responded to Beijing by suggesting a referendum in Tibet on the subject.

A thoroughly modern - maybe even post-modern - theocracy, if you ask me. And a ballsy leader, too: who knows what happens to your Karma Credit Card if you lose that vote.

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Loose Cannon ?
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it's like a modern re-enactment of Herod looking for the holy child
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Antonio Gramsci
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Oh, and by the way, the Dalai Lama was given honorary Canadian Citizenship last year. He works for us now.

The Narco Petro Superpower is everywhere.

[ 25.03.2008, 12:19: Message edited by: Antonio Gramsci ]

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Spearmint Rhino
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quote:
As you all know, when the Dalai Lama dies, his spirit is reincarnated, invariably as another Tibetan.
I take it you've all seen the fantastic episode of King Of The Hill that riffs on this idea...
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Antonio Gramsci
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Haven't watched that show in ages. How does it go?

[ 25.03.2008, 12:24: Message edited by: Antonio Gramsci ]

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Ginger Yellow
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The best bit about that reincarnation law is China's wording and justifications. They're so gloriously bureaucratic and Kafkaesque, they can only be intended to discredit the whole concept.

Here's what the official order says:
quote:
Article 1: These measures have been formulated in accordance with the "Regulations on Religious Affairs" in order to guarantee citizens' freedom of religious belief, to respect Tibetan Buddhism's practice of inheriting living Buddha positions, and to regulate the management of living Buddha reincarnation affairs.

Article 2: Reincarnating living Buddhas should respect and protect the principles of the unification of the state, protecting the unity of the minorities, protecting religious concord and social harmony, and protecting the normal order of Tibetan Buddhism. Reincarnating living Buddhas should respect the religious rituals and historically established systems of Tibetan Buddhism, but may not re-establish feudal privileges which have already been abolished. Reincarnating living Buddhas shall not be interfered with or be under the dominion of any foreign organization or individual.

Article 3: Reincarnating living Buddhas should have the following conditions: (1) A majority of local religious believers and the monastery management organization must request the reincarnation; (2) The inheritance lineage should be real and have continued to the present day; (3) The monastery applying for the living Buddha reincarnation must be the monastery at which the living Buddha monk is registered, it must be registered as a Tibetan Buddhist place of religious activity, and it must have the ability to train and raise living Buddhas.

Article 4: Applicants to be reincarnating living Buddhas who have any of the following conditions may not be reincarnated: (1) Reincarnations which are not regulated by the religious doctrine of Tibetan Buddhism; (2) Those in city-level people's governments and above with delineated districts, which ordered no reincarnations to be permitted.

Article 5: Reincarnating living Buddhas should carry out application and approval procedures. The application and approval procedure is: the management organization at the monastery applying for the living Buddha reincarnation where the monk is registered, or the local Buddhist Association, should submit applications for reincarnations to the local religious affairs departments at the level of people's government above county-level; once the people's government above county-level has made suggestions, the people's government religious affairs department reports upwards, and examination and approval shall be made by the provincial or autonomous regional people's government religious affairs department. Living Buddha reincarnations who have a relatively large impact shall be reported to the provincial or autonomous regional people's government for approval; those with a great impact shall be reported to the State Administration for Religious Affairs for approval; those with a particularly great impact shall be reported to the State Council for approval. Verification and authorization of the living Buddha application should solicit the opinions of the corresponding Buddhist Association.

Article 6: When there is debate over the size of a living Buddha's impact, the China Buddhist Association shall officiate, and report to the State Administration of Religious Affairs to be put on the record.

Article 7: Once an application for a living Buddha's reincarnation has received approval, depending on the size of the living Buddha's impact, the corresponding Buddhist Association shall establish a reincarnation guidance team; the management organization at the monastery where the living Buddha is registered, or the corresponding Buddhist Association, shall establish a search team to look for the reincarnate soul child, and search affairs shall be carried out under the leadership of the guidance team. The reincarnate soul child shall be recognized by the provincial or autonomous regional Buddhist Association or the China Buddhist Association in accordance with religious rituals and historically established systems. No group or individual may without authorization carry out any activities related to searching for or recognizing reincarnating living Buddha soul children.

Article 8: Living Buddhas which have historically been recognized by drawing lots from the golden urn shall have their reincarnating soul children recognized by drawing lots from the golden urn. Requests not to use drawing lots from the golden urn shall be reported by the provincial or autonomous regional people's government religious affairs departments to the State Administration of Religious Affairs for approval; cases with a particularly large impact shall be reported to the State Council for approval.

Article 9: Once a reincarnating living Buddha soul child has been recognized, it shall be reported the provincial or autonomous regional people's government religious affairs department for approval; those with a great impact shall be reported to the State Administration for Religious Affairs for approval; those with a particularly great impact shall be reported to the State Council for approval. Reincarnating living Buddhas who have been approved by the provincial or autonomous regional people's government religious affairs departments or by the autonomous regional people's government shall be reported to the State Administration of Religious Affairs to be put on record.

Article 10: When the reincarnating living Buddha is installed, a representative of the approving authority shall read out the documents of approval, and the corresponding Buddhist Association shall issue a living Buddha permit. Living Buddha permits shall uniformly be issued by the China Buddhist Association and reported to the State Administration of Religious Affairs to be put on record.

Article 11: Persons and units who are responsible for being in contravention of these measures and who without authority carry out living Buddha reincarnation affairs, shall be dealt administrative sanction by the people's government religious affairs departments in accordance with stipulations in the "Regulations on Religious Affairs"; when a crime has been constituted, criminal responsibility shall be pursued.

Article 12: When the reincarnating living Buddha has been installed the management organization at the monastery where he is registered shall formulate a training plan, recommend a scripture teacher, and submit the plan to the local Buddhist Association, which shall report upward to the provincial or autonomous regional people's government religious affairs department for approval.

Article 13: Provinces and autonomous regions which are involved in affairs of reincarnating living Buddhas may formulate and implement detailed measures in accordance these measures, and report them to the State Administration of Religious Affairs to be put on record.

Article 14: These measures shall be implemented from September 1, 2007.


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